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Donna Beth Stoner

June 5, 1936 ~ February 7, 2013
February 18, 2013
Donna Beth Stoner, 76, passed away on February 7, 2013, at her home in Bonners Ferry. Services were held at Mountain View Mennonite Church, Bonners Ferry, on Monday, February 11, with Ministers Willis Dyck, Shane Ensz, Ben Nystrom and Glenn Ensz officiating.

Interment was in the adjoining cemetery.

Donna Beth Giesbrecht Stoner was born June 5, 1936, at Turlock, California, to Ben and Marianne Regehr Giesbrecht. Though never a hearty child, she enjoyed her childhood in the California sunshine.

She attended Arundel School, Atwater School, and Livingston High School before moving with her parents to Glenn, California, where she finished her basic education at Princeton in 1955. After answering the call to give her heart to the Lord Jesus, she was baptized by Minister Edward Jantz at Winton, California, in February of 1950.

Though at times tested and tried, she found grace to remain faithful to this calling all her life.

In 1955 Donna Beth moved to Santa Monica to live with Chet and Nettie Mae, her older sister. Here she had a temporary job with the General Telephone Company in the Wire Chief's office. They were in the process of altering each telephone so that it would be able to dial long distance. Later she and cousin Agnes Toews Becker were asked to help at Greasewood Mennonite Mission Boarding School in the laundry and kitchen. Approximately 30 girls and 15 boys (American Indians) boarded there, most going home for weekends. It was an interesting, busy, full, exciting year, but at 19 with much to learn, she determined never to go back if her job included kitchen duty!

Witnessing the joys and sorrows of the missionary's life was a never to be forgotten experience.

The years 1957 - 1961 found her at Chico State College, majoring in nursing along with Agnes. This included a 13 month stay in Student Nurses Residence in San Francisco at the County Hospital. She made life long friends with whom she was still in touch last Christmas.

Next she returned to the Southwest as an RN to work in the PHS Indian Hospital in Gallup, New Mexico. Because it was understaffed, she was assigned to work two floors. There were 25 very sick patients per floor, with few medical conveniences compared to more recent days.

Later years included working at Grace Nursing Home at Winton, California, as Director of Nurses and then at Glenn General Hospital as night supervisor in Willows, California.

Her life was quiet, but warmed by family and friends and travel! Her love of travel and camping, and spending time at the ocean began in childhood and continued throughout her life.

On March 9, 1973, she was married to Jack R. Stoner by Minister Donald Bates at Glenn, California. They enjoyed life together for 17 years until Jack passed away in January of 1990.

They traveled a lot during these years, including a trip to New Zealand by freighter, where they almost missed their first anniversary by crossing the International Date Line on the wrong day.

Together they did a lot of gardening and enjoyed sharing their bounty with others.

Donna loved Jack's three daughters and also entertained the grandchildren, who often came to stay with them in Idaho when they were young. Volunteering at the Well Child Clinic and also the Senior Center was something she liked to do. Her cheerful quiet ways drew people to her, for she was a good listener and will be missed by many.

She didn't mind being alone and took pleasure in each new day. She was contented and enjoyed the little things that came her way, not asking for more. She remained quiet and unafraid in all the hurdles she faced with poor health, and lived her faith, until death claimed her on February 7, 2013, after a long battle with cancer.

Although weary in mind and body, she was saying thank you prayers for the ones who told her they were praying for her.

Donna Beth is survived by niece Celia Unruh; her step-daughters Sidney Carrillo and Ethel and Ray Rausch, Yorba Linda, California; five grandchildren, six great grandchildren; sister Nancy Fern and Victor Amoth, Bonners Ferry, brother Jerry Giesbrecht, Glenn, California, brother-in-law Chester Unruh, Nampa, Idaho, sister-in-law Sharon Giesbrecht, Glenn, California; and many nieces and nephews and cousins, including her cousin Agnes Becker.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Jack Stoner, parents Ben and Marianne Regehr Giesbrecht, sister Nettie Mae, brother Rodney, step-daughter Jacquelyn Stoner, and sister- in-law Carolyn Giesbrecht.

Family and friends are invited to sign Donna’s book at Arrangements are entrusted to the care of Bonners Ferry Funeral Home.